Molasses-based distilleries produce large quantities of dark coloured effluent, which is a major cause of environmental pollution. An experiment was conducted to investigate the efficacy of distillery effluent amendment for edible mushroom production.
Three species of oyster mushroom, namely Pleurotus florida Eger (EM 1303), Pleurotus pulmonarius (Fries) Quelet (EM 1302) and Pleurotus sajor-caju (Fries) Singer (EM 1304) were grown on wheat straw (variety UP 2338) and bagasse amended with post-anaerobic distillery effluent, a high organic load wastewater with high biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand.
Three different levels of effluent treatment were applied to bagasse and wheat straw. Wheat straw was found to be the preferred substrate and showed better results than bagasse in all treatments with respect to yield, biological efficiency (BE) and dry matter loss. P. florida (EM 1303) and P. pulmonarius (EM 1302) gave significantly enhanced yield with increasing levels of effluent, with BE reaching highest at 238.6% for P. florida (EM 1303). Using bagasse as a substrate, P. sajor-caju (EM 1304) and P. pulmonarius (EM 1302) exhibited a decreasing trend as compared to control.
However, the effect of effluent concentrations did not influence yield and BE significantly in case of bagasse. The dry matter loss of the substrate varied from 9.4% to 53.4% in wheat straw and 17.5% to 45.2% in bagasse respectively.